Two of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s high-profile ministers claimed thousands of dollars in taxpayer entitlements for attending Sydney shock jock Michael Smith’s wedding.
Attorney-General George Brandis and deputy Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, are reported to have billed taxpayers nearly $3000 for flights, hire cars and incidental expenses collectively.
Brandis has told Fairfax he regarded the wedding as a chance to “foster collaboration” over Mr Smith’s work covering the then prime minister and the Craig Thomson scandal and it was therefore “primarily a professional rather than a social engagement”.
The wedding, just less than two years ago, was around the time Smith left 2UE for a dispute surrounding his attempt to raise allegations about former prime minister Julia Gillard’s relationship with Thomson and the misappropriation of funds.
The federal Department of Finance’s guidelines state MPs are allowed to claim travel and accommodation expenses for official business including “meetings of a government advisory committee or taskforce.”
SMH has more.
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